Ancient Glass Blog of The Allaire Collection


Posted in Uncategorized by Allaire Collection of Glass on October 16, 2017


Mid to late first century AD. Northern Italian.

H: 11.7 cm. Dmax: 6.2 cm. Drim: 3.2 cm. Dbase: 3.9 cm. Weight: 55 gr.


Classification: Isings 1957: Form 15. Goethert-Polaschek 1977: Form 133.

Condition: Excellent preservation. Some burst bubbles in patches.

Technique: Free blown. Handles applied.

Description: Transparent colorless glass with opaque blue, white and yellow patches. Ovoid to nearly spherical body rests on a low folded foot with a concave base. No pontil mark. Cylindrical neck splaying and merging to body. Flaring mouth with infolded rim. Two slender bifurcated trails of light blue glass applied to the shoulders, pulled up and bent to attach to the neck just below the rim, creating delicate handles. On one side the trail continues down the side of the neck while on the other side the trail has opaque white streaks and is attached somewhat higher along the rim as well as just below it. The amphoriskos is decorated with random splashes of opaque white and light blue glass with a few blobs of yellow to enliven the design.

Remarks: This type of glass was in peak production during the Julio-Claudian and Flavian periods. According to Isings production started between 20 and 50 AD and it lasted until the end of the first century. Find spots are all around the Mediterranean sea, the majority of which is concentrated in Northern Italy and adjoining regions.

How it was made: The speckled effect on the glass was created by rolling the partly formed vessel on a marver with randomly placed fragments of colored glass. After reheating and rolling the fragments flush, further inflation would enlarge and distort the flattened fragments, giving the glass a multicolored appearance. It has been suggested that this technique was developed to imitate the more costly mosaic glass.

Provenance: Aphrodite Ancient Art, New York. Private collection D.S., New York. , Fortuna Fine Arts, New York. , The Martin J. Wunsch Collection, New York, 1980-2016. , Christoffer Sheppard Collection, London, before 1980.

References: Whitehouse 1997, Corning Museum, No. 361. Biaggio Simona 1988, Museo Civico e Archeologico di Locarno, No. 19. Kunina 1997, Hermitage Collection, Nos. 187-189. Saldern 1968, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, No. 23. Saldern 1974, Oppenländer Collection, No. 391 (now in the J. Paul Getty Museum).

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